I cried Sunday in church when I first read the article.
Let me first say that I so know that my kids are far from perfect. They drive me crazy but when I hear/read things about them I can't help but feel proud. Their dad & I long ago said when we are out in public we so want/need our kids to be well behaved-thoughtful-memeber of society which means that in the privacy of our home they are sometimes bratty and whiny and all that and for us we are ok with that. I mean not all the time but we feel as home is a safe place to sometimes be ugly and we will still love them anyway. However, I am truly a proud mom.
Here's the article:
BRUCE MCLAREN: New view on younger generation
Posted March 16, 2010 at 5:48 p.m.
SAN ANGELO, Texas — Many of us are familiar with the TV commercial about being “in good hands.” Over the past couple of years I have managed to harangue education in general and recalcitrant students in particular. The following, therefore, may not be what you might expect me to say about students, hopes for our future or being in good hands.
I am finding that more and more of our youth do have their heads screwed on straight and care about the environment, each other and even us old fogies who seem to be more in tune to complain than compliment their maturity and direction in life. They also appear to have a pretty clear picture of what lies ahead.
What, you ask, has brought about this change in my attitude? Have I been issued a clean pair of rose-colored glasses? Are my vitamins working overtime and have they put me into a newer and faster lane of thinking?
Perhaps. But what I discovered did much to reopen my thinking of the current generation of kids and their capabilities for becoming positive and charismatic leaders, if you will, for many years to come.
Here is some background as to why this confidence is in order. There are two teenagers I’d like you to meet and know better. So as not to completely embarrass them should they read this column, I’ll refer to them as “C” and “J.” Both sit behind me in church almost every Sunday. Their family’s roots are with the military at Goodfellow Air Force Base. They also sing a lot better than I do.
When their dad was transferred here, they were immersed into our public school system, which for some young people would be a place where they could hide in obscurity until a military move was made — again. Not these two. Each is involved in school activities and academics and both have friends and admirers of all ages.
Additionally I’ve noticed positive relationships within their own age group in ways that exude respect for each other as well as a unique ability to share feelings of comfort and deference for other age generations as well.
This perceptive ability to make people around them feel the joy of their friendship, as well as becoming part of their own individual enthusiasm for life, are unique attributes I have not seen in many others their age in some time.
Hold on a minute — am I talking just about two people? Not necessarily. I am also seeing a youth culture that I have not noticed quite as clearly before, particularly as these two teens have shown it in a way that speaks of many of their peers as well.
I am not sure if most young people, including these two, are always enthusiastic about attending 8:30 a.m. church service with their younger sibling and parents every Sunday. I am convinced, though, that more and more young people, in their own personal spirituality, are finding this involvement to be yet another way of shaping their lives, beginning to understand all life has to offer in the years to come.
It seems to this author that they are finding new and more positive ways to grow up and mature. What do you think?
C and J might be unique and I may be expressing a prejudiced pride about their care and concern for others and how easy it is for them to make people feel good about themselves. But along with many of their friends, both young and otherwise, these two emote a personal assurance that our future is “in good hands.”
For a moment let me reflect on my article about students not wanting to do homework, attend classes or be a part of anything that didn’t center on themselves. What problems we face in education today are as much a responsibility of students and families as they are of the schools themselves.
Challenging growth and development of individual intellects toward greater academic opportunities is, and will always be, the hallmark of a quality educational program. Reading and writing, along with an understanding of our history, the sciences, various levels of math and the humanities are all a part of that whole equation. Measured student success and achievement will reflect on those curriculums as well.
From where I sit, the future looks to be in very good hands. This youthful generation of leaders-to-be appears capable of handling challenges the future will demand as well as today’s responsibilities of school, church, home and community. And two, in particular, can also smile and bubble, if you wish, with a unique confidence and caring for all of us. For that I am grateful.
Bruce McLaren is a member of the Standard-Times editorial board.